WARNING: We are tag teaming the post. I’ll preface each section with who wrote what. We made an agreement that we will not fix, edit, correct, or yell at each other for what the other one wrote.
We definitely decided against going ashore at Frederica. Josh was itching to move again, so we geared up for a big day of motoring down the ICW to Cumberland Island. There was still a chance of storms around, but what the heck.
We got past Jekyll Island and the sky started turning dark. St.Andrew’s Sound was coming up. There was another boat we’d followed off and on during the past two days and he seemed like he was going to go for it so we decided to as well. St.Andrew’s Sound basically cuts all the way to the ocean and then you make a sharp right turn back up into the north side of Cumberland Island. We knew the conditions could get rough but it looked like a small storm on the radar and we were making good time. The seas kept building and the winds got worse. Everything got packed away and out came the rain gear….
So Allison and I together decided that we couldn’t go ashore at Fort Frederica because the dinghy dock was completely on land except for two hours before and after high tide. We would have had to wait until 2pm and would have had to waist another day completely. On top of that we were starting to run out of provisions and didn’t want to have to travel on the July 4th.
When we got to St. Andrews sound the weather started getting rough, but, nothing too bad. Then it started getting really bad! It was just like on deadliest catch. The bow of the boat would point toward the sky then crash under the waterline. The splash would fly back to the cockpit like a Water Ride at an amusement park. There was another boat that was a couple hundred yards away from us. It was crazy seeing what was happening to us happen to another boat. The wave would lift the boat up and then it looked just like the boat would just sail into the air and drop. I tried to get Allison to give me the gopro (so I could prove that
I am not exaggerating), but, she was uninterested in doing anything other than biting her nails. To be honest I was getting pretty nervous myself. I put on a lifejacket and tied a rope around my waist. We were going full out making about two knots. Allison was below trying to navigate and not puke. After about an hour and a half we were out of the sound and back in the ICW. I might have had a little too much fun. I mean I know I need to take the ocean serious and all that jazz, but, that was real “Old Man and The Sea stuff” the kind of stuff little boys dream of. It was definitely a day I will remember forever.
Also I’m glad we lived.
So, we made it out alive. We were soaked and had forgotten to close the hatch in the V-berth for awhile so our mattress and pillows were wet. In spite of being uncomfortable and having a long way to go still, we were in pretty good spirits. Josh had a lot of fun and we were on the north end of Cumberland Island so I was prepared to start looking for the wild horses which live on there.
It took all of fifteen minutes to find them. I was beside myself. It really was a gorgeous sight to see these horses roaming the beaches. We plowed through more rain and went past King’s Bay which is a Naval Base that has something to do with submarines. I was sort of waiting for our boat to break down and the Navy to come barreling up with guns blazing assuming we were terrorists, but no such thing happened.
We motored uneventfully up behind the south side of Cumberland Island. It was still raining a bit, but the anchorage was really pretty regardless. The boat was rocking a little in the waves and we couldn’t help but call it a night early.
The next morning, I woke up to Josh sort of whisper yelling my name. I got up and right there…about 50 yards away…there were the wild horses grazing on the beach. THERE WAS EVEN A COLT! I was already in love with this place.
We quickly got things together and hopped in the dinghy to go ashore. Four dollars gets you an entire week’s access to the dinghy dock and the island. That’s one thing I love about this trip. You would pay $12 to go see a movie that’s probably comprised of mind numbing filth, but $4 and I got revel in nature and history to my little heart’s content.
Cumberland Island has a really cool history. On the north end there was a place called The Settlement that was established for African American workers. The church is still there and it’s where JFK Jr. and Caroline Bissett got married. At one point, the Carnegies owned most of the island. The main house, Dungeness, was burned but the ruins are still there. Not to mention there are some really gorgeous beaches and hiking trails. AND THE HORSES.
Now prepare to be overwhelmed with the magic of Cumberland Island.
We stayed in Cumberland through the 4th. We could see the fireworks at St.Mary’s from our anchorage so we relaxed, had a few cocktails, and spent a really wonderful 4th of July next to Cumberland Island.
Our next stop is Fernandina Beach, which is only 6nm from here. We are running REALLY low on a lot of things that are REALLY important. Namely, food and gas. I’m looking forward to being back near society and crossing the Florida – Georgia border. At that point we’ll have crossed an entire state which feels like an accomplishment on Willy.